2004-04-09 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave congratulates City Coun cil man Joseph Addabbo and his wife, Dawn, on the birth of their first child, a girl, Alexis Jules. Alexis was born on April 4 and weighed in at 7 pounds, four ounces.

Save April 27 for the annual Bravest and Finest Luncheon sponsored by the Rockaway Cham ber of Commerce. The event will be held at the Beach Club at 12:30 p.m.

Those who would rather be in the great outdoors rather than eating at a luncheon should set their clock for 10 a.m. on April 25. That’s the time for the beginning of the 26th annual Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run, sponsored once again by Sweet ‘N Low. The run will once again take off from Beach 116 Street and the boardwalk.

State Senator Ada Smith, who rep resents Broad Channel in the state legislature, was found guilty in an Albany court for roaring through a police checkpoint at an Albany garage, nearly running over the foot of the state trooper who ordered her to stop. According to testimony at the trial, Smith was stopped for a security check while entering the parking area generally used by legislators. She allegedly cursed out the trooper who stopped her, and then tried to drive past him, almost hitting him. Smith’s attorney argued that Smith was not traveling in traffic on the street at the time and that the trooper had no right to stop her. The judge did not agree and fined her $200, lecturing her on the need of every body to be security-conscious in the wake of September 11. In prior years, Smith had been charged with biting a police officer after a traffic stop and abusing a salesperson at the Howard Beach Gap store when she would not let Smith return used merchandise.

If the City Council has its way, the ban that now exists on using motorized scooters on public streets would be extended to point of sale, lease, rental and use in public spaces. "Like a plague of locusts, children on motorized scooters are swarming through our neighborhoods," said Council member Michael McMahon, who sponsored the bill. "Children are putting themselves in danger and other’s in harm’s way." A national consumer’s agency recently re ported nearly 5,000 emergency room visits last year as a result of the scooters.

Locals are cheering the Rock away Beach Civic Association’s decision to change its mind and offer Beach 91 Street and the boardwalk to the family of Richie Allen for a memorial to the memory of the firefighter who died on Sep tember 11, 2001 in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Cen ter. There is no word on the street that will be named for Duke Kahanamaku and a number of residents told The Wave that they really don’t care one way or the other. It seems that the Duke is important only to a few surfers and to the Friends of Rockaway, the environmental organization that got Beach 38 Street named for the surfing icon in the first place.

Remember that glass is now being recycled once again. Do not mix your glass bottles with your regular garbage or you will face a fine from the Department of Sanitation. By the way, several people have called, asking what they do with the detritus of diabetes – the needles and blood-testing materials that build up each day. The DOS told The Wave that the sharps should be placed in a plastic container such as a bleach bottle, sealed when it is full and marked "Diabetes Materials." The bottle should then be thrown away with the regular garbage, not with the recyclables.

The Daniel M. O’Connell Post of the American Legion is looking for assistance in finding local residents who have fought in either Iraq or Afghanistan and their families. The Legion wants to honor the armed forces members and their families at the coming Mem orial Day Parade in Rock away. Anybody fitting the bill should contact the Legion at its Rock away headquarters.

Those interested in boating, but not sure that they know enough to get out into Jamaica Bay or the ocean should take the Basic Coastal Navigation Course offered by the USCG Auxiliary beginning on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. The course will be offered at the Old Mill Yacht Club on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach. Those interested should call 718-387-4991.

This week, The Wave presents a new column, entitled "The Pro gressive." The column, written by John Paul Culotta, will act as a counterpoint to Stu Mirsky’s "The Rockaway Irregular" column. Hope both columns spur our readers to think about the broader issues that relate not to Rock away, but to a broader community. The two columns will run on alternating weeks. Let us know what you think.

A retired military enlisted man came into The Wave last week with some concerns with the city’s anti terrorism preparations. He feels that things are just too lax in this city and that terrorists will have no trouble hitting the subways or such military institutions as Fort Hamil ton and its hospital facilities. There are lots of people who feel the same way, but the truth of the matter is that it is exceedingly difficult to stop somebody who does not fear death from those types of actions.

Twenty years ago this week, on April 14, 1984, controversy raged on the Rockaway peninsula over the approval of a Day top Village facility in Arverne. The headline on the front page of The Wave trumpets, "Dumped on by New York State, Com mun ity Recoils Stunned." Another story on that page promises "Mass Protest Set At 10 This Morning." The protest obviously failed and the facility has been a good neighbor for the past 20 years. Think about that next time some politician tries to get you worked up into a "not in my backyard" frenzy.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg still does not get it. He talks about his smoking ban being successful and not harmful to small bars and restaurants even as they go out of business. He talks about raising the minimum wage as if it were not necessary because, he says, you can raise it, but it won’t help many people because most people in New York are already working above it," when, in fact, Department of Labor stats show there are 700,000 workers statewide earning below $7 an hour. The problem is, Bloomberg lives in a different world from the rest of us and has no idea how the "common" man and women in this city is forced to live.

The recent gun arrest at Beach Channel High School has prompted the schools UFT chapter chair to call for the daily use of metal detectors at the troubled school. "We have many good kids and I want them safe," the UFT chair told reporters. "I want my staff to be safe as well." The DOE has not commented on the request.


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